Artic Air Personal Cooler, Silent Fan Hack

Introduction: Artic Air Personal Cooler, Silent Fan Hack

I recently purchased this Artic Air Ultra fan from home depot and it works very well however it is very loud. I live in Las Vegas where the summer heat has already begun and the nights are already icky hot. I wanted to use this fan at night however it is so loud even on the lowest setting that I simply turned it off and had to sleep uncomfortably. I woke up this morning and remembered I happened to have an extra pc fan from a silent pc fan kit I had just purchased on amazon. Its from Artic ,a Pc fan cooler company, and it looked like the same size. Determined to sleep and stay cool I went to work figuring out how to disassemble and reassemble this fan. It took me about 25 minutes total to complete and now its silent at last! I really hope this helps other people and its a very simple project.

I'm not sure if I really need to say this but I don't want anybody acting surprised this will definitely void your warranty.

Yes I know its a modification not a hack, but hack is searched more than modification!


Artic Air Ultra personal fan

ARCTIC F12 PWM - 120 mm Very quiet motor, Fan Speed: 230–1350 RPM

A metal file

A magnetic tip Phillips head screw driver would be best

Gorilla glue or super glue

Crimp tool

2 Blue Crimp Connectors

Step 1: Remove Filter and Filter Tray

Pull the filter tray as far out as the unit will allow.

Remove the filter.

Angle filter tray up and filter tray tabs should slip out of the track, I don't know what else to call it but its very straight forward you shouldn't have any trouble removing this.

Step 2: Remove Bottom Plastic Panel

There are some tabs that you need to un-clip ,you might need a small flat head for this but I didn't.

It comes apart very easily and its made out of high quality plastic so don't be afraid to use force if you feel its appropriate to separate the bottom panel.


You do not need to remove or unscrew this part it has nothing to do with the upgrade.

You might see in pictures in other steps that I unscrewed this but there is no need to do this as you can comfortably upgrade the fan without ever touching this piece.

Step 4: Remove Screws

Unscrew the 6 screws holding the left and right plastic panels to the fan.

The screws are hard to put back in without a magnetic screwdriver, you can choose to only partially unscrew the screws as the panels can be removed with them only half way unscrewed.

Step 5: Remove Side Panels

Peel the top of the instructions back on the right panel to the seem where the panel meets the top panel.

The side plastic panels have two easy tabs to un-clip on each panel and then they come right off.

I would advise against removing the filter instructions.

Step 6: Remove the Fan

Once the plastic panels have been removed the fan unit and plastic back panel will be stuck together and the wires for the fan go into the control housing which simply slides out of place when you remove the fan.

Remove the fan by just lifting it up and setting it next to the control board and its housing, it wont be screwed or clipped into anything besides the back plastic fan guard panel, separation of these will be covered in the next step.

*note the fan has positive and negative leads connected to the board *

To access the control board just slide the dark gray plastic shroud, that has the fan speed button, up from the plastic housing.

Unplug the fan leads from the board.

Step 7: File

File down the gray nubs that are holding the fan in place.

The fan will slide off the gray posts of the plastic fan guard panel when the nubs have been filed down enough.

Step 8: Splice

You will need to splice the original fan's adapter to the new fan if you are using the same model as I did.

The negative wire on the f12 was a black wire with gray dashes along its side .

The positive wire will be the one wire directly next to the negative wire. Please refer to my pictures or message me for clarification.

Step 9: Test, Glue, and Reassemble

Before reassembling this unit I highly recommend testing the device to make sure you spliced the right cables.

Since we filed the nubs off the gray posts the new fan will need a dab of super glue on each nub to hold it.

Let dry for a few minutes outside so the smell doesn't seep into the plastic housing of the unit.

Now just put it back together by following the instructions in reverse.


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    2 months ago

    Just wanted to say a big thankyou for this. I had wondered how to deconstruct and change the fan. Your guide really helped me. Here in the UK having air con is unjustifiable plus electricity is through the roof costwise. These ultra airs are pretty good at helping through hot spells... not perfect but way better than nothing. Our fans consume about 4-6 times more watts than these ultra airs another reason to consider when 5 members of household are running all night long. For running cost of a few LED light bulbs we get cooling. Anyway, I did your hack and originally tried an old fan which was almost okay but with a throbbing sound. So I bought the same as the guide and it's pretty damn good. There's probably an even mroe perfect fan out there but for the price it's absolutely fine. For others looking at this a few words of advice - You could try the cheaper standard Artic F12 case fans but be careful since these are untested. Mentioned here is the PWM version. I bought a pack of 5 c. 20£ (make sure it's the PWM not PST or standard case). Also you don't need to take bottom off the case of ultra air. I was able to use a screw driver to just remove fan whilst keeping shell intact. Another piece of advice... I couldn't work out how to remove the control section.. it says here pull up and literally... don't pull horizontally but pull vertically up. My stupid mistake originally. Also I struggling with crimping and in the end just soldered the wires together and shrink tubing around solder joint. That was far easier for me. You literally want to take the dash wire (one on outer edge) and line up with negative and then the wire right next to it is for positive. The logo sticker of fan will be pointing away from you (towards back of unit and hidden when you peer inside). With regards supergluing on the fan... that does 100% work but if you ever want to remove the fan it's a nightmare. I opted for hot glue in case I decide to move the fan to another unit. Isopropyl alcohol makes removing that easy if you need to. As far as screwing fan back in... tilt the unit so screw holes are pointing to ceiling as much as possible, balance screw on top of you screw driver (mine was non magnetic) and then with a bit of fiddling and error you can screw everything back together fine. I'm not so sure taking the unit apart is quite as robust as this guide makes out. I felt I was going to crack bits off. Be careful to make sure power lead will reach comfortably before screwing or glueing and make sure the back panel is positioned correctly (i.e. with little rivets or whatever they are at top). Once done the unit is way way quieter... not perfection but as it should have been in the first place when I bought. My final and biggest piece of advice... I bought both the official artic air ultra and some cheap ebay knockoffs. The build quality appears the same. So I ended up buying 1x £25 ebay artic ultra air (official and pre-owned - normally about 30-40£) and 4x 10£ so called unbranded. Given the main crappy and most dangerous part of this unit will be a cheap fan (even in the branded versions)... I personally recommend just getting some knockoffs and replacing with a better fan. In UK they do another identical unit called JML Chillmax. They all look the same, can use the same filters. I mean for the price of the knockoff/unbranded... that's the same as a replacement filter. They all fit each other. So worst case you have yourself a new replacement filter! Anyway, now my family members all have one of these with artic f12 PWM fans. Thankyou so much for original guide. I hope my blurb helps embellish with my experience. Also I am running off 5000mah cheap battery packs. Last about 3-4 hours. Enough to fall asleep with. Love the USB connectors. Be interested if people find even lower sounding fans. They are though now a pleasant noise level even on power option 2. The small hassle is worth it. Can't help thinking they should have made better quality in the first place but hey ho. When you're hot... you don't give one. And artic ultras, JML chillmax or unbranded are a really welcome relief!


    2 months ago

    Removed the step 3 and yellow wire to sensor is not attached . Need help putting it back on thanks


    1 year ago

    Epic, and it still keeps you just as cool, now SILENTLY!!!


    2 years ago

    Nice modification! : )